"The Good Life" is the 981st episode of Casualty and the 21st episode of the 30th series. It was preceded by "Shame" and followed by "Step Right Up". The episode was directed by Jo Johnson and written by Patrick Homes. It shares its name with a series 8 episode which aired over 20 years before.
This episode also marked the final appearance of Kathleen "Dixie" Dixon, played by Jane Hazlegrove, following almost 10 years on the show. In addition, it featured the final appearances of guest characters Jess and Olivia Cranham, who were introduced in October 2015 and November 2015, respectively.
At her house, Dixie is preparing for the day of her disciplinary hearing. She receives an incoming call from Jess, but declines it. Elsewhere, Big Mac is returning to work after a break due to the injury he sustained to his back the previous week. He receives a message from Rita on his phone telling him to let her know if he has any issues. At the ambulance dispatch station, Iain hung a photo of Jeff on the wall for good luck Dixie's disciplinary. Just as Dixie is explaining her innocence to Iain, Jess turns up and apologises to Dixie, telling her that she intends on telling them that it's her own fault, and requested to speak on Dixie's behalf but she said she can do it herself. However, when Dixie asks why Jess came to visit her before the hearing, she tells her that her and Olivia are moving away in the evening.
Meanwhile at a local farm, an elderly man, Gerald, is constructing a structure in the garden when his son, Anthony, comes along trying to convince him to sell the farm to a group, and they'll take care of all of the farm's debt as well. However, whilst Gerald uses a power saw to cut some wood it slips sending the plank of wood slamming into Anthony. He suggests they call an ambulance, although Anthony assures him that his own injuries aren't that bad. However, Gerald reveals a deep laceration in his arm from the power saw, and says the ambulance is for him.
Back at the ambulance station, Jess tells Dixie that her and Jess are moving to Cornwall, and asks her if she'd go with them. Shocked by the idea of leaving behind her job and life in Holby, she laughs it off, but Jess gives her an envelope that Olivia wanted her to give to Dixie. However just as she's about to open it they receive the call from dispatch regarding the incident at the farm so Dixie puts it in her pocket as her and Iain leave. In the ED, Robyn shows Jack, Louise and Lofty her story on the front of the Holby Pulse, clearly to their disregard. Max also reveals that she made them do another print. Meanwhile, Ethan begins to look up new jobs located in Australia on the internet, but quickly closes it when Lily comes over, as he doesn't want anyone knowing about his departure or Lily to know where he's going. Afterwards, Connie arrives for the day to find a copy of the Holby Pulse stuck on her door, presumably put there by Robyn, but she quickly tears it down. Shortly after, Lily comes in and tries to persuade her not to accept Ethan's resignation but Connie tells her that she doesn't want anyone working there who isn't properly into the job.
In the ambulance, Dixie tells Iain what Jess asked her, and they agree that it's ridiculous to expect her to leave behind everything to move. When they arrive at the farm, Gerald recognises Dixie as the one who had previously helped his wife, Nancy. He also asks about Jeff, but Dixie tells him that Jeff died 18 months ago. Back at the ED, Connie asks why Jacob wasn't answering her calls and why he stood her up the night before, but Jacob tells her that it was his birthday and some old friends took him out for a drink. Connie guiltily walks away having not known it was his birthday. She goes back to her office to find Ethan waiting outside after she had requested to see him. She tells him that she's already found a replacement for him who can start next week. However, this is just to make him reconsider at the panic of being under pressure to make a decision, as Connie doesn't want him to leave either.
Upstairs in the recovery unit, Big Mac goes to see Noel but realises he can't at the last minute and walks away. When Max asks if he saw him, Big Mac tells him that Noel was sleeping. In the ambulance on the way back to the ED, Anthony tells Gerald that he will lose the farm either way, and convincing him to sell up will work out best as it will be repossessed otherwise. In the ED, Robyn makes Louise, Lofty, Max and Jack wear badges to promote her infuser fundraiser. Ethan requests assistance, and Robyn goes over. Lily inadvertently reveals his departure to Robyn which annoys Ethan as he doesn't want anyone knowing yet. Shortly after, Gerald arrives and Ethan begins treating him. Once again, Dixie asks him if she can call Nancy for him, but he says she's resting, despite earlier saying that she was at bridge club. Elsewhere in the ED whilst treating Anthony, Lily tells Charlie what Connie said to her earlier about Ethan's resignation. She tells him that it's not that Ethan's not into the job, but that he's just lost faith.
Whilst leaving the ED, Dixie points out to Iain that Gerald could be wrong about Nancy being at bridge club as he changed his story. Meanwhile, Ethan can't figure out what is causing Gerald's blood not to clot. Lily suggests that it could be haemophilia, but Robyn points out that his use of rodenticide could be the thing thinning his blood. Although Ethan wonders how he could have had it absorbed into his body, Lily says it doesn't matter and shows him Gerald's surprisingly high INR. Elsewhere, Dixie and Iain go back to the farm to check on Gerald's wife Nancy, but find her dead in her bed. Iain says that she's probably been dead a while judging by her hypostasis. Meanwhile in the ED, Connie confronts Jacob and tells him that she feels bad for not getting him a present, but he tells her not to worry because she didn't know, but she's still left feeling bad.
In the staff room, Lofty attempts to get Robyn to calm down with her enthusiasm over her Holby Pulse article, but he accidentally gives her the idea of promoting herself as nurse of the year. Outside the ED, Dixie explains to Charlie and Connie that they found Nancy dead at home, having brought her body in the ambulance back to the ED. She said that the police told them there was nothing suspicious about her death so they asked them to bring the body to the ED to certify the death. Dixie goes back into the ED to inform Gerald and Anthony of Nancy's death. Anthony becomes angry at Gerald for not realising that she was dead, but Dixie tells him that it's not helping, and he goes to speak to the funeral director. Gerald asks Dixie and Ethan if he can see his wife. Elsewhere in the ED, Jack says he has a plan to get Robyn to stop going on about her article.
Meanwhile, Dixie and Iain escort Gerald to the ambulance so he can see Nancy one last time. Whilst Dixie is in the ambulance with Gerald, Iain tells her that they're ready for her disciplinary. Iain offers to stay with Gerald until she gets back. In the ED, Connie informs Jacob that she's booked a fancy restaurant in Paris and an overnight stay to apologise for forgetting his birthday and also for a present. Although he tells her she doesn't need to spend money to impress her, she says she's getting him the present whether he likes it or not. Back outside the ED, Iain momentarily leaves to assist a woman, and Gerald spots that the keys are still in the engine, and plans to drive off. Inside the ED, Jack plays a bell sound on his phone every time Robyn mentions her article which annoys her. Shortly after, Big Mac catches sight of someone wearing a brown hooded jacket, similar to the one Mercedes Christie was wearing when she beat up Noel. Thinking it is her he grabs the person, but it quickly proves not to be which embarrasses him. Louise tells Big Mac that Noel's being discharged later in the day.
Back at the ambulance station, Jess comes back after having being interviewed as a part of Dixie's hearing. Just before Dixie is called in, she asks if Jess was serious about her request to move with them to Cornwall and she says yes. In the ED, Lily tells Ethan that he can't leave as he's her friend, best friend and only friend. Meanwhile, Robyn delivers Gerald's x-ray notes to Ethan and Lily, and Ethan discovers a small pneumothorax, but Robyn tells them that he stole an ambulance and drove away. Even so, Ethan is left disappointed in himself that he didn't pick up on it. After Dixie's hearing, she returns to see Jess and tells her that she was given a written warning. Although Jess says she'll go and speak to them again, Dixie says it's okay as she's been offered a promotion. Jess congratulates Dixie on her new job opportunity and says she needs to go and collect Olivia, but tells Dixie to keep thinking about going with them even though she'd be leaving her job behind. After Jess leaves, Iain informs Dixie that Gerald stole the ambulance and drove off and that the police are tracking it, but Dixie tells him that she knows where he's going.
Gerald arrives at his farm in the ambulance but lapses in concentration and accidentally sends it crashing through the summerhouse he was building. Back at the ED, Louise tells Big Mac to come up and see Noel for when he's discharged. At the farm, Dixie enters the crashed ambulance to find Gerald in the back with his wife. Dixie explains to him that he must let Nancy go, and that she too had experienced loss in the past such as Jeff, Polly and Carol. She is able to get Gerald to come out of the ambulance, just as police and more medical crews arrive. At the ED, Noel asks Mac where he's been, and Noel thanks him again. Also, Iain asks Dixie if she's going to take the promotion and she says she will. She later asks Ethan if the rumors that he's leaving are true, and he asks if she'll be coming for drinks after work. When Dixie asks how he could leave the ED, he says he's not sure anymore, clearly having reconsidered his decision to quit.
In her office, Connie is interrupted by Ethan and she asks him if he's made a decision yet about leaving. She gives him the option of either leaving today or in a month, but he asks if he can stay, which she is happy to hear. Across the road at The Hope & Anchor, Iain tells Dixie that he found an envelope addressed to her in the back of the ambulance that Gerald crashed. Realising that it's the note from Olivia, she opens it and decides that Jess was right and that she should move one last time. Ethan arrives for his leaving party, but reveals to everyone that he's not actually leaving after all due to the persuasion of a good friend, meaning Lily. Robyn takes the opportunity to show Lily her article in the paper, and Jack plays the bell sound on his phone for once again bringing it up. Noticing it, Robyn realises that she's been going on about it a bit too much.
Back at the ED, Connie and Jacob finish their shifts and Jacob opens a small bag to find several bathing products. When he asks Connie what it is, she says it's everything that a girl needs at a sleepover, and tells him that she is his birthday present, before they leave to celebrate together. Elsewhere, Dixie arrives at Jess' house and tells her and Olivia that she has quit her job to leave with them. When Jess asks what made her change her mind she shows them the letter that Olivia had made for her.
Dixie returns to the pub to say one last goodbye to everyone before leaving with Jess and Olivia, whilst Olivia's letter is read over:
|“||"Dear Dixie, I'm writing you this letter because we're moving away and I didn't know how to say goodbye. Mum says it's not really goodbye because you'll always be there, in our memories, in our hearts, how you helped us when we needed it. So I'm not afraid of saying goodbye. You made me feel loved. You made me feel protected because sometimes you have to. Even though it's sad it's not forever. Because I know I'll see you again to keep me safe, to make me feel loved, to be a family. You see? I made a wish. And wishes come true."||”|